So, what is the definition of bullying?
Bullying is complex. The advent of the internet and technology has added even more layers of complexity to a problem that has been around since recorded history. So one first, must learn what is the definition of bullying?
What is the Definition of Bullying ?
Bullying is defined as the repeated psychological or physical oppression of an individual with limited power by a more powerful person or group of people. Bullying can take place directly (in person) or indirectly (online or through other individuals).
The Definition of Bullying : How is Bullying Different from Common Aggression?
Bullying is different from other types of aggression, which usually include people of equal or similar power. People can be hurtful to others due to thoughtlessness, but mere annoyance and anger doesn’t make a negative interaction bullying. Bullying is defined as a harassment that occurs because of a direct and obvious disparity in power between one person and another.
Who is Affected by Bullying?
Bullying affects people of all ages and in every walk of life. It is more prevalent in children, teens, and young adults.
What Makes a Person Less Powerful and Therefore Susceptible to Bullying?
- People can have less power than his or her peers for many reasons, including the following:
- Being different
- Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem
- Abusive environment at home
- Smallness or lesser physical strength
The Definition of Bullying : Common Bullying Tactics
- Name calling
- Subtle physical bullying that can include shoving, pushing, or nudging
- Deceiving a victim to earn confidence that may encourage the victim to confide in and trust the bully
- Attacks on a person’s reputation
- Physical abuse
- Attacks – verbal, psychological, or physical – on objects, pets, or people who are important to the victim
Direct bullying involves bullying that is done in person or online by the bully and targeted directly to the victim.
Indirect bullying involves bullying via a third party or in harassment in a public forum that doesn’t’t involve a bully confronting a victim directly.
- Bullying through technology (see below)
The Definition of Bullying :Where Does Bullying Occur?
Bullying can occur anywhere. Historically, the “playground” at school and the school bus were common bullying places. Now, however, bullying has become mobile along with everything else about our lives. See the bullets below about cyber bullying and mobile bullying.
Common places where direct bullying occurs:
- Sporting events
- Senior centers
- Youth groups
The internet and social networking websites have allowed for the escalation of bullying and has given bullies a means of taking their attacks to a much higher than they were able to in years past. In the “old days,” victims of bullying were able to go home at night and escape their tormenters. There is nowhere to hide from cyber bullying.
Methods of Cyber Bullying
- Cyber bullies have a plethora of methods that they can use to bully their victims.
- Posting of inflammatory videos discussing the victim
- Taking photos the victim in compromising situations (restroom, sleeping, etc…) without the knowledge of the victim and posting the images online
- Recording the victim in compromising situations (restroom, sleeping, etc…) without the knowledge of the victim and posting the video online
- Enticing the victim into an intimate conversation, extracting “confessions,” and then sharing the confessions online with multitudes
- Posting in online forums
Cyber Bullying Statistics
A shocking number of teens – 88 percent – have witnessed people being mean or cruel on social networking sites. Cyber bullying is usually much worse than face-to-face bullying. The bully who may use restraint in a victim’s physical presence has no reason to use restraint online. A person who has abusive tendencies thrives in the online world.
- 95 percent of teens aged 12-17 are online (September 2012 Pew study)
- 80 percent own a computer (September 2012 Pew study)
- 23 percent own a tablet (September 2012 Pew study)
- 88 percent of teens claim to have witnessed bullying on social networks (2011 Pew report)
- 20 percent of teens say that their peers are mostly unkind to others on social networking sites
- 15 percent of teens have been the target of online bullying
- 12 percent of users say that they witness cruel behavior frequently
Adult bullying on social networking sites is predictably less common, but 7 percent of adult users have witnessed meanness or cruelty frequently. (Pew)
These statistics clearly demonstrate why the internet makes it so convenient for a bully to intensify his or her efforts.
Everything about our lives is now portable. We have our entire peer network with us everywhere we go. Smart phones make it even easier. While this has helped us to work smarter and keep in touch with friends and family no matter where we are, it has also given bullies continuous access to their victims.
While having continuous access to documents, networks, search engines, and friends and family, most victims would prefer to not take their bullies with them everywhere they go. However, this is exactly what occurs with mobile bullying.
One solution to this problem is using limits that are available on your phone plan. Many plans allow you to block specific numbers. However, this is largely ineffective because anywhere the bully happens to be, he or she is in close proximity of someone who has a phone that can be borrowed.
Conclusion on What is the Definition of Bullying:
The definition of bullying evolves constantly because the methods by which a bully can seek out his or victim(s) evolves constantly. However, the essence of bullying remains the same: the physical and/or psychological harassment of a vulnerable individual by a more powerful individual or group.
If you are still wondering on what is the definition of bullying, please contact us below and we will help you reach your own conclusion on what is the definition of bullying and how bullying can stop.